Western Energy News

Oregon poised to become national leader on climate policy

CLIMATE: Oregon is poised to pass one of the most progressive climate policies in the nation as legislation creating a cap-and-trade program moves closer to a final vote by lawmakers. (Associated Press)

UTILITIES:
A Colorado wholesale power provider is considering placing itself under federal regulation just one month after a new law went into effect requiring state approval of its plans. (Denver Post)
The city of Boulder, Colorado has made a final offer of $82 million to Xcel Energy to buy its own assets in its bid to create its own municipal electric utility. (Denver Post)

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OIL & GAS:
North Dakota’s attorney general says he plans to ask a federal agency that regulates the transportation of hazardous materials to try to stop Washington’s new volatility rules for rail-shipped oil. (Bismarck Tribune)
Some members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are pushing for a Senate hearing on legislation seeking to limit drilling on federal lands near an area considered sacred by several Western tribes. (Associated Press)
Colorado’s first attempt at overhauling oil and gas regulations under a newly enacted law has triggered a backlash from the industry. (The Colorado Sun)

WILDFIRES: Residents of Nevada’s most fire-prone areas should be prepared for more proactive power shutdowns, say officials with the state’s largest utility. (Reno Gazette-Journal)

STORAGE: Two of California’s largest utilities are proposing new incentives for customers in wildfire prone areas to connect with battery-solar systems in case of planned power shutdowns. (Greentech Media, subscription)

SOLAR:
A 400 kW solar array on an apartment complex near Portland could be a model for other multi-family housing projects in the state. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
The city council in Yakima, Washington is considering signing an agreement with a Seattle nonprofit to help local residents who want to invest in solar energy. (Yakima Herald-Republic)

POLITICS: As the public’s interest in energy reform increases, so does the number of people seeking election to the board of directors of Colorado’s rural co-ops. (Mountain Town News)

COAL: A federal appeals court has dismissed an environmental group’s legal challenge to an Environmental Protection Agency’s order concerning a coal-fired power plant in Utah. (Bloomberg)

COMMENTARY:
The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times says it is “shockingly disrespectful” for California lawmakers to ignore the recommendation of a state commission to remove the strict liability standard for utilities making them responsible for wildfire damages caused by their equipment regardless of fault.
Tying Colorado to California’s zero emission vehicle mandate is “frankly regressive,” says the public affairs director of a local group led by an automobile dealers association. (The Colorado Sun)
Meanwhile, the executive director of a national group advocating for electric vehicles says the head of the Colorado Independent Automobile Dealers Association has cited “outdated, misleading and factually incorrect” information about plug-in cars. (The Colorado Sun)

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